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LU geologists discover new theory for Himalaya

lucknow Updated: Jul 16, 2010 21:19 IST
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times
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The Himalaya is younger than we thought.

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Himalayas are believed to have been formed some 65-million years ago.
Lucknow University research shows the rise actually happened some 15-million years before and continued till 1.9 million years.
Its Shivalik rock sedement that indicates actual rise in Himalaya.

A new study done by Lucknow University geologist suggests the rise in the mountain range essentially happened 15-million years ago and not 65-million years before, which is the common belief among researchers.

"The earliest sediment of Shivalik rock form that indicates actual rise in the mountain range, has been dated back to 15-million which continued up till 1.9 million years," said Prof Vibhuti Rai, of the Geology department at Lucknow University.

Prof Rai along with his team utilised Geochronology (technique to determine ageing of rock samples) and Paleomegnatic study (that reveals location and time of rock formation) to ascertain details of its formation.

"The Indian sub-continent was somewhere in the Indian ocean 71-million years before and it came floating to the place where it is presently. As it hit Asia in the Eur-Asian Plate, the Himalayan range was formed but the actual rise did not happened then," said Prof Rai, who has ben studying Himalayas since last two decades.

As Indian sub-continent touched Eur-Asian Plate there were strong earth movement that created the Himalaya. The movements raised the rock deposits, which were laid down in the shallow Tethys Sea, which was on the present location of the mountains.

The rise in the Himalaya did not happen in one or two years. It took millions of years for the Himalaya to come to the present shape and height.

The findings by the Lucknow University will help researchers and geology students exploring the secrets of the mountain range.

The Himalayas considered among the youngest mountain ranges of the world passes through five nations namely India, Pakistan, Bhutan, China and Nepal.

Change in weather, in northern parts of India, too is partially dependant upon Himalayas that control the wind movement in this part of the country.